Monday, March 19, 2012

The Mahabharata - The Highlights

I have been wanting to do this for myself. Highlight the course of the Mahabharata for my own future reference. None better than Kamala Subramaniam's Mahabharata.

The Adi Parva
It all began with the love affair between Ganga and Shantanu. The birth of Devavrata, the seventh Vasu, to Ganga. The entry of Satyavati, the fisherman's daughter, into Shantanu's heart. The vow of celibacy by Bheeshma. The birth of Chitrangada and Vichitraveerya, sons of Satyavati. Death of Chitrangada. The Swayamvara at Kasi - the taking away of Amba, Ambika and Ambalika for Vichitraveerya by Bheeshma. Amba's vow of revenge to kill Bheeshma. Satyavati and Bheeshma on how to prolong the Kuru dynasty. The birth of Pandu and Dritarashtra through Vyaasa.
Kunti and the birth of Karna to the Sun God. Pandu's curse. Birth of Pandavas and Kauravas. Pandu's death. Pandavas go to Hastinapura. Jealousy sprouts in Duryodhana's heart. Drona and Drupada - the insult of Drona at Drupada's court. Drona enters Hastinapura. Ekalavya seeks to learn from Drona and is rejected because he is not a prince. Karna is cursed by Bhargava' for lying about his birth - he will forget all he had learnt when he needs it most. Karna challenges Arjuna at the tournament and is insulted. He is made King of Anga by Duryodhana and thereby begins the great friendship. Ekalavya's Gurudakshina to Drona by cutting off his thumb.
The plot to kill the Pandavas at Varanavata in a house of lac. The burning of the house of lac. The escape of the Pandavas and Bheema's marriage to Hidimbi. Birth of Ghatotkacha. Ekachakra and killing of Baka by Bheema. Advent of Dhaumya. Draupadi's swayamvara. Five of us will share what we got - the Pandavas share Draupadi. Meeting Krishna at the swayamvara. Pandavas are given Khanadavaprastha by Dritharashtra. Arjuna goes on teerthayatra, marries Subhadra. Birth of Abhimanyu. Return to Indraprastha. Burning of Khandava forest by Arjuna.

Sabha parva
Maya's hall at Indraprastha. Yudhishtir's Rajasuya yajna. Slaying of Jarasandha before Rajasuya. Krishna is guest of honor at Rajasuya. Slaying of Sisupala who is irked by Krishna being the guest of honour. Draupadi's laughter irks Duryodhana. The invitation to Hastinapur. The game of dice. Shakuni plays in place of Duryodhana. Yudhistira loses everything. Draupadi's question. Her dishonour. The insults by the Kauravas and the oaths of the Pandavas. The game is played again. The Pandavas are banished for 13 years.

Vana Parva
Kamyaka forest. Curse of Maitreya that Duryodhana will die at the hands of Bheema. Krishna's oath that the Kauravas shall perish. Dwaitavana. Arjuna's journey to Indrakila. Arjuna gathers the Pasupata astra and other astras for the war on Vyaasa's advise. Urvasi's wrath on Arjuna's rejection. Yudhithira's teerthyatra. Bheema and Hanuman - brothers. Arjuna returns. Duryodhana's ghoshayatra and defeat at the hands of Chitrasena. Duryodhana's rajasuya. Jayadratha's outrage and humuliation, lake of death and yaksha prasna.

Virata Parva
The thirteenth year to be spent in disguise. Disguised Pandavas and Draupadi take refuge in King Virata's court. Slaying of Keechaka by Bheema. Radheya's dream. Indra's begging bowl for Radheya's kavacha and kundalas. Duryodhana attacks Virata. The cows are stolen. Arjuna and Uttara Kumara fight the Kauravas.The routing of Kauravas. The 13th year is over. The blood of Yudhsithira. Virat knows the Pandava identity. The wedding of Abhimanyu with Uttara.

Udyoga Parva
Council in Virata to claim the Pandava's share. Arjuna and Duryodhana in Dwaraka to seek Krishna's aid. Dritarashtra's reply to Yudhishtir. Vidura neeti. Five villages is all that the Pandavas want. Krishna's final message. Duryodhana's anger. Krishna's Viswaroopa. War is declared. Karna is told that he is Kunti's son by Krishna. Karna is asked to join the Pandavas. Bheeshma is made commander of Kaurava army. Kunti meets Karna. Karna promises her he will spare the four brothers but he will have to kill Arjuna or be killed by him. Uluka in Pandava camp.

Bheeshma Parva
Yudhishtira seeks the blessings of Bheeshma, Drona and Kripa before the war. The Bhagavad Gita. The war begins. Krishna's anger at Arjuna's softness. Duryodhana's anger at Bheeshma. Pandavas at Bheeshma's feet to ask him how to kill him. Fall of Bheeshma. Radheya and Bheeshma meet at the end of the day.

Drona Parva
Drona is the new Commander in Chief. Radheya enters the war. Attempts to capture Yudhisthira for another game of dice by Duryodhana. The Trigartas. Drona's promise to capture at least one hero. The Chakravyuha. Fall of Abhimanyu. Arjuna's oath to kill Jayadratha before nightfall. Jayadratha's death. Satyaki's heroics. Midnight battle. Ghatotkacha's heroics and his death. Karna's Shakti weapon is used for Ghatotkacha. Fall of Drona. Aswattama's Narayanastra.

Karna  Parva
Radheya in command of the army. Salya is the charioteer. Death of Dussasana. Radheya and Arjuna. Radheya dies while trying to extricate his trapped chariot. Durodhana is distraught.

Salya Parva
Salya is made commander in chief. Death of Salya at Yudhishtira's hands, Sakuni at Sahadeva's. Duryodhana meditates in the Dwaitavana lake. Fall of Duryodhana with his thighs broken by Bheema. Balarama's anger at Bheema.

After the war
Aswattama's grief and the midnight massacre. Krishna's curse. Dritarashtra's embrace of Bheema. Curse of Gandhari to Krishna. Radheya's identity is revealed to Pandavas. Crowning of Yudhishtira. Bheeshma's talk on the dharma of a king. Bheeshma passes away. Krishna returns to Dwaraka. Parikshit. Aswamedha yaga. Death of elders. Death of Krishna. Sea enters Dwaraka. Yudhisthir reaches heavens. The rules of heaven.

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